Author’s Note: Since it’s the holiday season, I thought that we’d take a break from “A Debt Unpaid.” Don’t worry though, it’ll continue after this one. For now, here’s another super short story. Hope you’ll enjoy it. Happy Holidays!
My Master lifted his stick off his throne in the gathering room, leaned on it. He moved carefully, slowly to the glowing box in one corner of the room. He pressed a scraggy finger against the side of the box, and the glow disappeared
I bounded up to greet him as he turned, and I considered his eyes. They were losing their color. Most Masters think we don’t notice things, but I do. I have been a good companion to my Master, and I have noticed many things.
I noticed when he was still in his bed one morning. I noticed when a menacing looking Master was going to attack mine from behind. I noticed when my Master brought upon our house a new, small Master with no motor skills and a high-pitched shriek.
“Ben, ya ole mutt,” my Master chuckled, reaching down to scratch my neck. I find it comforting when he scratches my neck, and I love it!
As he took his hand back, I tilted my head, looking back in his eyes.
Master went back to his throne to sit, and leaned forward. “I know, boy-o,” he whispered, lifting my head with his hand, holding his stick in his other, “I’m not looking so good. I’m not moving as fast as I used to, I can’t do all of the things I used to do with you.”
I see a glint of water forming in his eyes. He is heartbroken, I’ve seen this before. My Master is sorrowful, but why? Is it me? Have I done something wrong? Is it because of his old age? I nudged my nose closer to him, making him chuckle.
“No, no, no,” Master smiled, “you’re good, ole boy, you’re good.”
Okay, good, it wasn’t me.
Yet, he still seems worried.
“I do want to talk to you, though.” Master momentarily stood up then dropped to a knee, putting his stick on the floor. “Sit for me, Ben. I’m going to the hospital soon. I hope this is just for some tests, but I’m not sure.”
My head tilted once again. What is this “hospital”? Is it a bad place? Is it like the Vet?
“This might be my last trip to the hospital, boy-o.”
His tone of voice did not sit well with me, something seemed wrong. Water was appearing in his eyes again. Why is Master unhappy now? What is going on? I scooted a little closer to him, licking his hand. I thought that licking his hand would make him feel better.
“Thank you, boy,” Master said, caressing my head. “You’ve been a good boy so far. We’ve had some fun times, too. Remember those muggers?” He laughed rather loudly this time. “What a time! Good thing I had this with me.” He picked up his stick, waving towards me. My tail wagged.
“I want you to know, boy-o, that I love you and that you have been the best friend anyone could have.”
He looked profoundly into my eyes, and the moisture was gone, so I think he was happy. My tail continued to wag, and licked his hand again.
Master pressed his head to mine. We lasted there for a good long while.
My tail continued to wag.